Mystery House



Design Lab: Pink Cotton

Designs sprout in different ways.  At least, with me they do.  Years ago I was more inclined to start with sketches, and I was never too far from a sketchbook.

I’d begin with some image that came to mind and draw endless variations until I hit on one or two that I wanted to pursue.  Some ancient relics from when I was in school.  I’m so not showing you the dates on these:

I did make the teapot on the upper left.  Didn’t like the finished piece as well as I’d liked the idea–the glaze came out funky and the whole thing was wobbly.  I’m a much better handbuider than I am a thrower.

Rings that I didn’t make, but which related visually to other work I was doing with painting and ceramics at the time.

Hmmm…that’s a sketch I did eons ago and had completely forgotten about, but it relates directly to some pieces I’m working on now.  Yes, I really made that discovery right this very minute while working on this post.  I’m going to have to dig a bit more seriously through my old sketchbooks and see what else I can mine.

That’s one way my process works:  Sketch, discovery, refinement —-> finished work or total disaster.

More often these days, and particularly with knitting, I start with the materials.  What have I got to work with?  What yarn is seducing me and making me wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it?

I have this:

Millefili Fine mercerized cotton, about 400 yards total.  The color is just nuts, it’s so gorgeous.  I thought about making a lace scarf or wrap with it, but the yarn doesn’t have enough elasticity to make lace knitting fun, and I don’t want to fight it.  I want this yarn to want to be whatever I make with it.

What else have I got?


Vintage buttons!

Okay, those two elements are going into the beaker together and I’ll let them simmer.  At this point, I have no idea what’s going to emerge, or whether I’ll even wind up using them together.

That’s the other way my process works:  Tiny seed of inspiration, trial and error, discovery —-> finished work or total disaster.

How does your process start?  I’d really love to know.

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Comments

  1. * olga says:

    I’m a visual person so I usually start by tearing out pictures of color and design stuff that strikes my fancy. I have a bunch of files of pictures and paint chips of just about everything that I liked . I look through this sometimes to just enjoy the visual beauty of it. I use to draw a lot but that has fallen on the way side, though I think I would like to get back into colored pencil drawing.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  2. * bellamoden says:

    mmmmmpinkmmmmm
    I usually start with the item that I want! Trying to find a use for yarn doesn’t work very well for me. Sigh.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  3. * bellamoden says:

    mmmmmpinkmmmmm
    I usually start with the item that I want! Trying to find a use for yarn doesn’t work very well for me. Sigh.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  4. * bellamoden says:

    mmmmmpinkmmmmm
    I usually start with the item that I want! Trying to find a use for yarn doesn’t work very well for me. Sigh.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  5. * Jeanne says:

    You are assuming that I have a process. If I do, it’s not obvious to me. I can’t wait to see what that yarn becomes.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  6. * Amy says:

    My process is decidedly less interesting. It’s pretty much “gee here’s some pretty yarn” and “gee here’s a pattern I’m probably capable of knitting.” With a lot of hope that the two actually go together.
    Love the pink.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  7. * Chris says:

    Ok, it is TOO cool that you just made that sketchbook/current work connection. Your subconscious has been busy for a while.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  8. * Chris says:

    Ok, it is TOO cool that you just made that sketchbook/current work connection. Your subconscious has been busy for a while.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  9. * bezzie says:

    Mine starts in the shower. I’d need a waterproof sketchbook. Actually no sketching involved, I just jump in.
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  10. * bezzie says:

    Mine starts in the shower. I’d need a waterproof sketchbook. Actually no sketching involved, I just jump in.
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  11. * kmkat says:

    I too tend to start with color and sometimes with the yarn I have. My creative time is while I am waiting to fall asleep — I’ll pick a yarn or a design and try to work it out in my head.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  12. * Ragan says:

    Hmmm…that is a good question….
    I usually start with…”I want to make something but don’t know what”…and then look through all the yarn,fabric,beads,buttons,
    thread,ribbons…etc in my closet. Then think about what and for whom…followed by find a pattern or I make one up.
    That is when I am actually feeling creative. Right now I am just making a straight up book pattern for a toddler sweater…and some winging-it my own pattern socks (because of the lovely yarn Karen sent me). Not very creative like. Love that yarn of yours…it is great inspiration!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  13. * Ragan says:

    Hmmm…that is a good question….
    I usually start with…”I want to make something but don’t know what”…and then look through all the yarn,fabric,beads,buttons,
    thread,ribbons…etc in my closet. Then think about what and for whom…followed by find a pattern or I make one up.
    That is when I am actually feeling creative. Right now I am just making a straight up book pattern for a toddler sweater…and some winging-it my own pattern socks (because of the lovely yarn Karen sent me). Not very creative like. Love that yarn of yours…it is great inspiration!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago


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